By Victor Ogunje
As part of the ways to fortify the cord of unity between the Ekiti State Government and workers, Governor Kayode Fayemi has promised financial help for the bedridden, vulnerable and widows in the civil service to mitigate their sufferings.
Fayemi said the Covid-19 pandemic may have robbed the workers of the opportunity of celebrating with the usual fanfare and joy but it will not take away the core values of prompt payment of salaries, pensions, gratuities and the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage across board.
Fayemi spoke in a statewide broadcast to workers to celebrate the 2020 Workets’ Day on Friday.
The governor said: “I have accepted the list submitted by the leadership of organized labour, Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress with details of most vulnerable, sick, those involved in accident, widows and widowers and approved money for them as a little leverage of government support in commemoration of this year’s May Day.
“As a government, we are determined to play our part at making work and its environment conducive for Ekiti workers. This, we believe, is the only way that we can inspire our workers to give their best in the implementation of policies and programmes of our government.
“I sincerely appreciate the leadership of the Service in our state for their donations to the Covid-19 account and the Food Bank. These gestures demonstrate the public service values of loyalty and service to the people.”
Fayemi said the labour movement in Ekiti State has been resilient and matured, sacrificial and patient, assuring them that the welfare and improved working conditions of workers shall continue to be his priority.
“Salaries, pensions and gratuities are being paid as and when due. I am sure you have received your April 2020 salary and all allowances due to our health workers who are at the frontline of Covid-19 response have been paid.
“We continue to pay the N30,000 minimum wage for junior cadre in the public service and have reinstated merit based appointments to elevate the standards of the public service.
“Official vehicles have been allocated to serving and some retired permanent secretaries while we have increased our investment in training and capacity building for the public service. Also, it is on record that all outstanding promotions as at December 2019 had been addressed across the Public Service.
“Work is progressing steadily on the abandoned structures at the state Secretariat complex to ease the challenge of inadequate office accommodation for our workers. Housing and car loans are being granted to workers.
“Our new policy of six months maternity leave for women in the public service which took effect from February 1, 2020, is aimed at reducing to the barest minimum infant and maternal mortality rate, as well as facilitate work-life balance for female workers in the state. All of these are geared towards making life and working more comfortable for Ekiti workers,” he said.
Fayemi added that the Joint Negotiation Council was on the verge of concluding negotiations on the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage when the effects of the deadly pandemic coronavirus dealt a fatal blow on global, national and state economy.
“This may affect the resumption of negotiations but we are optimistic that the battle would be won soon, and that the world economy would come out of the present recession to enable the state conclude on the process and its consequential adjustments,” he said.